Okay, let me say first of all that I'm not writing this as a fan of Al Gore. I can take him or leave him as a political persona, and he's given me no reason to make a decision one way or the other about whether or not I would support him as a future candidate for any office.
That said, I'm really sick of how much he gets picked on unjustly. If I side with Gore it's because I consider myself to be an environmentalist, and I believe he's been a great voice for "green" concerns. I take particular issue with those who talk about how much energy is used in his home in Nashville. As a local girl, I have something to contribute to this conversation.
1) Until this year, the community in which he lives did not allow solar panels on homes, and the electric company only recently began to offer Green Power Switch--a more expensive energy source that is renewable! He wasn't in a position to practice responsible energy use in these ways prior to that.
2) "Average" families of four brag that they don't use the amount of energy that Gore does. Well, duh! Does anyone think he lives in a 1400 square foot house? Furthermore, this same house includes offices in which people work. He also has security needs that are beyond what most average citizens need or require.
3) The automobile issue. He does drive an SUV, but it is a hybrid.
Could Gore do better? Sure! So could I. So could everyone. This is a tired subject, but I had to speak. Let's move on.